By SARA GIBONEY
KEARNEY – Will Stoutamire was recently appointed coordinator of the Frank House, which is located on the University of Nebraska at Kearney campus.
Stoutamire, who started at the Frank House Sept. 2, is responsible for overseeing the operation of the house. Stoutamire hopes to take the Frank House in a new direction – creating new exhibits and developing a new marketing plan.
“I’m looking forward to completing a restoration of the house, creating permanent exhibits and rotating exhibits,” he said. “I hope to build the profile of the museum so it’s more well-known in the community and in the state.”
Stoutamire comes from Tallahassee, Fla., where he worked as a historian. He also worked as a contract researcher for the U.S. National Park Service through his graduate assistantship at Arizona State University. Stoutamire received his bachelor’s degree in history from Florida State University and his Ph.D. in public history from Arizona State.
Located at the west end of the UNK campus, the Frank House was built in 1889 by George William Frank Jr. as a gift for his parents, George Frank Sr. and his wife, Phoebe. The Franks ran a successful mercantile and real estate business, and George Frank Sr. was a conductor on the Underground Railroad.
During its construction, the Frank House was the first west of the Missouri River to be wired for electricity, and it featured steam radiators and indoor plumbing.
In 1911, the Frank House became part of the Nebraska State Tuberculosis Hospital and was used as living quarters for the hospital’s staff until 1971. The house now holds original Frank artifacts, and is used for campus and community events such as Saturday at the Frank House.
The Frank House is open for tours from 2-5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 12-5 p.m. Saturdays. A 125-year anniversary celebration is planned for Sept. 20 from noon to 6 p.m.
Source: Will Stoutamire, 308.865.8284
Writer: Sara Giboney, 308.865.8529, firstname.lastname@example.org